Global Fund Withdraws $98 Million Grant to Myanmar, Citing Government Restrictions on Travel, Drug Importation
August 22, 2005
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Friday announced it has terminated its grant agreements with Myanmar -- also known as Burma -- citing travel and other restrictions implemented by the country's military-controlled government that impede the delivery of medical supplies and services, Reuters reports. The fund in 2004 pledged to spend $98 million over five years to fight the three diseases in the country (Schuettler, Reuters, 8/19). "Given new restrictions recently imposed by the government of Myanmar, the Global Fund has concluded that its grants to the country cannot be managed in a way that ensures effective program implementation," according to a Global Fund release (Global Fund release, 8/19). The restrictions, which were implemented in July, include the requirement that any staff member wishing to leave the capital, Rangoon, get clearance three weeks in advance. In addition, the government has restricted the importation of drugs and indicated that it might halt the importation of lifesaving medications, according to Global Fund officials (Crampton, International Herald Tribune, 8/20). The restrictions violate Rangoon's previous pledge to allow staff and partners "unencumbered access to project sites" and would have made the planned programs impossible, Christopher Benn, director of external relations at the fund, said (Kazmin, Financial Times, 8/20). The Global Fund plans to end its programs in the country by Dec. 1 (BBC News, 8/19).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.